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Monday, February 21, 2011

Mental health

Mental health

A testimony

In mental health, from denial to acceptation, days can pass, weeks, months, even years. In 2007, I made two visits in Burgess, twenty one days each, approved by the Administrative Court over medical recommendation. I will not mention the exact situations, psychotics, habits, that led me to the Douglas!

My first bipolarity diagnosis has been established by three doctors at the St-Hyacinthe hospital in 2002.

The Administrative Court, under my ex girlfriend's advice, my sister and my brother in law supported the internment prescribed by the judge.

I was embittered. On the walls of the department, I saw pieces of writing that did not exist and that was there for my vision, my delirium, my psychosis. I showed nicely to the psychiatry department, I am cheerful naturally, but really, I was bitter even though something had overpass my mind. My habit have had me penetrate an abnormal hell, attractive, scary and worrying all together. A superman going through centuries, infinitely small, infinitely tall!

The pretzel that almost stifled Georges W Bush, it was my fact in the night awakened in a state of mania. The day after, he suffocated for real. Insomniac at night, I was tracking down Ben Laden. I have gotten the right to a thousand spell, visual and sonic hallucinations, burst of laugh, near dementia.

I have remained in a state of mania and psychosis during the whole sojourn. However, it is clear that if I did not admit the bipolar diagnosis, I would not get out of that hospital. I decided to accept the medication but I was playing their game. I started to take lithium and little by little, I have got the right to one or two hour exits, alone and free. Cinema, walk and finally the psychiatrist decided to enlarge me.

My girl friend had decided that our couple life was over. I left Monteregie to return live in Montreal. My son that was affected of cancer as he lived with his mother in France and with us since two years stayed with her until I could settle conveniently in Montreal.

Two month later we settled in the Cote des Neiges neighbor, with a health follow up at the Ste Justine hospital. Yet, my remission did not last and the cancer came back. A hellish struggle, again chemotherapy, other surgeries; in all in France and in Canada, near fifteen surgical interventions and as much chemotherapies.

We say that hope makes living! And we hoped. We hoped until the end! Meanwhile, a support for her beloved child, her mother had come from France and she lived with us. We had reconstruct, in a way, the family nucleus, from before her departure for France with our son and our divorce.

We had to be strong, bipolarity was far from my concerns, but I was following the medication. And every day almost we went to Ste Justine, for testing, examining, consultations, radio, IRM, scanner, chemotherapy, psychological assistance, blood test and heavy long hours of waiting in the corridors, until the day where he entered definitely to the hospital.

It was inconceivable for me to look for a job in these conditions. But when her mother arrived from France to help him, the Saco witch I was part of as an international volunteer counselor was suggesting me to give, because of my experience on the field, a lesson of intercultural cooperation and level 1 and 2 of Spanish class, witch allowed me to deepen my Spanish talk. Moreover, I obtained a college study attestation (AEC). These few hours of preparation and study allowed me to forget the scariness from witch I was facing: sickness... and death.

His sickness and mine. After six years of a titanic fight against cancer, he yielded one night of full moon. Numb, emptied, sensing nothing, it is only two months later that I snivel regularly all the time.

The fall to hell remained four years with ups and downs, alcohol and soberness, and finally the Douglas twice and a psychiatric and psychological follow up that still stand today.

I would not say that I am completely restored. But I progress. I am part of the impatients workshop, I expose, I write and with my IPS coach from the Wellington Center, Martine Clabrese, we look for a job, I am involved, I participate, I meet people, I keep in touch with friends and family. Not to forget that I am second president of the Beneficiary Comity of the Douglas Hospital. The files over witch we deal with hold much a social involvement beside the patients, residents and beneficiaries of the Douglas Hospital and its affiliations as for example the Wellington Center.

Finally, mental health, it heals itself, it cultivate itself. For me, it relieves me.

Jancy Bolté

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